These 10 camping essentials will give you a head start on your check list for this spring.
Spring time is right around the corner, and that means that the weather will be great for camping trips and fishing trips.
Whether you're taking a trip to the nearest KOA campground or hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, this essentials list is universal.
In order to have an enjoyable trip, take these 10 camping essentials with you.
1. First aid kit
First aid supplies are a must when camping. Whether you're primitive camping or camping in a park with electricity and running water, a first aid kit is mandatory. You never know when you might need one.
Make sure it's fully equipped with Band-Aids, Neosporin, and Advil. You don't want your trip shortened because you don't have the kind of first aid supplies that should be brought without a thought. Likewise, some places sell these items at the campground, but you will pay a premium.
2. Fire Starter
Nothing is more frustrating than not getting a fire to start when it's freezing, and the wood is either damp or too green. Hopefully you don't run into either of these scenarios, but in case you do, take a form of fire starter to get that fire pit cranked up quickly.
Among other uses, a multi-tool comes in handy when you need a can opener for Beenie Weenies or you need a pocket knife to open a package of hot dogs.
Plus, if you want to roast marshmallows you'll need to carve marshmallow sticks with something. In addition to a multi-tool take a repair kit with you on your trip. This might include duct tape, bigger tools like a hatchet, and other useful elements to repair your tent or stove at a moment's notice.
4. Insect Repellent
The last memory you want from a camping trip is getting bitten by bugs. Even worse, you don't want to pick up any diseases such as Lyme's disease from ticks. They will start to come out in the spring, so don't skimp out on buying bug spray.
For ticks, buy spray that has permethrin in it. Spray your clothes before putting them on as it will irritate your skin. You can also spray your tent with permethrin too keep it bug free.
5. Sun protection
If you plan to be out in the sun, take the proper steps to protect yourself from harmful UV rays with sunscreen, hats, long sleeves, and sunglasses. No one wants to ruin their trip by getting sunburn or worse.
If you plan on going to the beach, having a picnic, or going fishing use sun protection. In the spring and early summer is when our skin is most susceptible to getting sunburn.
6. Sleeping pad
Choosing a good sleeping bag is a given, but also don't forget about securing a great sleeping pad. It could be the difference between a great trip and complaining about your back for the next week.
Whether you're sleeping on a cot or on the ground a good, form-fitting sleeping pad allows you to rest up at night for the many adventures in the morning.
7. Rain gear
This is a big one! Make sure you pack ample rain gear. That means rain clothes, extra clothing, a water proof tent, a rain shell to go over the tent, a heater, and whatever else you might need to stay dry.
Similarly, pack extra socks. Even if it doesn't rain, socks get wet from the dew outside or the damp ground. Keep all these items in a waterproof container such as a plastic bag or plastic bin to ensure they stay dry the whole time.
I've been on trips when the tent didn't hold up and our belongings got soaked. Trust me, it's no fun. However, if you plan for contingencies ahead of time the worst that could happen is that you play cards inside the tent, or you're stuck under an awning for a few hours while the rain subsides.
It's easy to run out of food quick. When you're out hiking or playing you get hungrier than normal, and your food supply quickly dwindles. Pack extra food.
Make sure most of it is nonperishable; that way, if you don't end up eating it all then you can take it home and it won't go to waste. Additionally, consider taking a water filter or filtration water bottle. If you're on a trail and need to refill you can make a pit stop at the nearest stream.
When you go camping you need a good pack or backpack. That way if you go on a day hike, hunting, fishing, kayaking or climbing you can fit all your belongings in it.
Make sure it will hold plenty of snacks and water bottles. Dehydration and heat exhaustion is serious and shouldn't be taken lightly.When participating in outdoor activities you never know when you'll need extra water.
10. Extra batteries
This is often overlooked. Make sure to take plenty of extra batteries for flashlights, lanterns, heaters or whatever your light source of choosing. Because once they die you're out of luck. This is especially true if you camp often and you don't freshen your batteries in between trips.
The point of this list is to make sure you have plenty of contingency plans, because no one likes when their trip is cut short. In the same vein, no one likes to make the long trek into town for a few items.
Make a check list with the ten essentials listed above and you're going to be far better off.